Griffiths is buzzing for the Junior World Hockey Cup after Euro show to remember
10:00am Sunday 8th September 2013 in Sport
By Hattie Lee
Croydon's Jonty Griffiths admits the Junior World Cup cannot come soon enough with the buzz of featuring for England at the EuroHockey Youth Championships this summer not going away.
The 18-year-old was part of the England team that just missed out on a medal in Vienna in July, losing to the Netherlands 3-2 in the bronze medal match, and even played with a broken finger.
Griffiths suffered the injury during England’s opening match against Belgium but still scored in the 3-0 win with his performances in Austria putting him in contention for the Junior World Cup.
That takes place in India just before Christmas in December and Griffiths, a former Whitgift School pupil, insists the faster the global gathering approaches the better as his dream becomes a reality.
“Beating Belgium was a great achievement as they have won the last two Europeans and, even though I broke my finger, I continued to play and managed to score which was a shock considering I play at the back,” said Griffiths.
“I have recently been put through to the U21 England team for the Junior World Cup and as I am one of the youngest players in the training squad it was a great accomplishment for me to get in the team.
“I’m looking forward to competing. At the start of the season being picked for the squad was always a thought that I had in the back of my head but now that I have actually achieved it I am more determined to push on.”
Less than a month after Griffiths competed at the European Championships with England, it was the turn of the senior team to do so and where they too lost to the Netherlands in the bronze medal match.
Griffiths is currently preparing himself for a season with Loughborough Students and has earmarked his strength and conditioning as an area to improve in order to keep moving on an upward trajectory.
“There is a big leap from under-21 to senior level so I definitely want to improve my fitness levels,” he said. “I watched the men’s Europeans and it is always good to see them play because you can see what you need to work on to get to that level.
“It’s great to look up to the players like Iain Lewers as they are in the position that I want to be in one day. I’m excited to be starting pre-season training at Loughborough.”
Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, has supported 1,000 of Britain’s most talented developing athletes. As part of Lloyds TSB’s commitment to helping future sports stars prosper, the programme will continue in 2013. Follow future stars at facebook.com/lloydstsblocalheroes
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